Magazine Article - GROWTHPOLICY

Robert Stavins on Climate Policy

  • Devjani Roy
| July 2019 You were recently named to the Climate 100 List, as one of the world’s most-influential advocates of forward-thinking climate policy. You have spent your entire career both shaping policy through outreach and producing landmark scholarly research. From this unique vantage point, what would you say we are finally getting right about climate policy and advocacy? And what would you say we are still getting wrong?

Robert Stavins: As for what the world is getting right and climate policy and advocacy, I would say that the heightened attention the issue is receiving around the world is very significant.  More specifically, the approach taken in the Paris Agreement is a vast improvement, in my view, over the approach taken in the predecessor international climate agreement, the Kyoto Protocol.  I say this mainly because we have evolved from the situation with Kyoto, where 14% of global CO2 emissions were from countries taking on targets and timetables, to the Paris Agreement, were more than 97% of global emissions are covered.

As for what we are still getting wrong, the greatest problems are in this country, the United States, where climate change has become an ideological debate between the right and the left, politically, rather than a scientific and economic issue that merits pragmatic attention and practical public policies....

For more information on this publication: Please contact Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
For Academic Citation: Roy, Devjani. “Robert Stavins on Climate Policy.” GROWTHPOLICY, July 2019.

The Author


Robert N. Stavins